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The Silent Wife: A Novel Paperback – June 25, 2013

3,007 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“It’s this summer’s Gone Girl – I gobbled it down in one sitting, and because of the wonderful writing, I did not feel one speck guilty.” – Anne Lamott, People Magazine

“This summer's sleeper hit” – The New York Times

The Silent Wife is a boning knife of a novel, sharp and quick.” – Newsday
“Watch out, Gone Girl.” – USA Today

“A.S.A Harrison's The Silent Wife is a clean, understated thriller” – NPR.ORG

“You can't blame the publishers of The Silent Wife for hyping it as ‘the new Gone Girl.’ It's not. It just might be better.” – The Huffington Post
“For those who loved Gone GirlThe Silent Wife is a quick-witted marital pas de deaux featuring a psychotherapist and her philandering husband.” – Vogue, “Summer’s Best Mystery Reads”
“May be as popular as Gone Girl was last summer.” – CBS This Morning, “Best Reads for Your Summer Vacation”

“The surprises keep coming, pager after quiet page… Harrison writes well with a light touch, but her touch is devastating nonetheless.” – The Guardian, US Summer Reads pick
“If you’re suffering from Gone Girl withdrawal, here’s your fix.” – Real Simple

“Harrison has spun a masterfully suspenseful tale in which the main plot point is given away from the beginning – no easy feat. It’s a story of the end of a marriage, the end of love and how long buried secrets can cast a long shadow.” – The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“That final revelation from Harrison, who, regrettably, died before she could see her debut novel published, inflicts the stealth damage of an icepick to the carotid artery.” – Sarah Weinman, New Republic


About the Author

A. S. A. Harrison was the author of four books of nonfiction. The Silent Wife is her debut novel and she was at work on a new psychological thriller when she died in 2013. She lived with her husband, visual artist John Massey, in Toronto, Canada.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1St Edition edition (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143123238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143123231
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,007 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

712 of 753 people found the following review helpful By B. Case TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Open "The Silent Wife," by A. S. A. Harrison, and meet Jodi and Todd. They live in a gorgeous Chicago condo. She's a part-time psychologist working from home; he's a renovation expert and developer who makes enough money to provide them with an enviable and affluent lifestyle. They've not married, but have been living together for twenty years; their life has become an ongoing stable and emotionally satisfying routine of mutually met obligations and expectations. They have no children, so they each have sufficient time to indulge in whatever interests them. Jodi loves to play the perfect domestic diva taking care of Todd and Todd loves to be taken care of. Jodi loves doing her spa visits and Pilates sessions; Todd loves having sex with other women...and being confident that his accepting wife will ignore and forgive these dalliances. This is their routine. They seem ideally suited to it, and to each other...their lives in perfect balance. To readers, their relationship might seem unusual, and neither of them might be the type of people we'd like to have as friends. In fact, I am sure that many who read this novel will take an instant dislike to these two fictional antiheros. But of course, readers are not required to like these characters. Rather, what readers need to be able to do is to figure out how to understand them. Why? Because that's a good part of the pleasure of this novel.

In the beginning, we are told that this novel is all about a murder. Jodi will be the murderer and Todd the victim...and it will take only "a few short months" to "make a killer out of her."

So you might ask: with a novel that starts like that, how could it possibly be marketed as a thriller? Where's the suspense?
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206 of 234 people found the following review helpful By Larry Hoffer on August 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'd rate this book 3.5 stars.

Let's get this out of the way first. Despite what the marketing of this book may say, The Silent Wife is not "this year's Gone Girl." And truth is, that's both good and bad. I wasn't as much a fan of Gillian Flynn's best-seller last year, so I can't say I wasn't entirely disappointed that this novel didn't share many of the same characteristics. However, I wish that The Silent Wife had a little more of Gone Girl's page-turning suspense.

Jodi Brett and Todd Gilbert have been together for more than 20 years. Their relationship began in an auspicious way--the two were both involved in a car accident--but the two have supported each other greatly. Jodi has watched as Todd has become a self-made man, starting from restoring and rebuilding a Chicago townhouse from the ground up, to running his own construction business. And Todd encouraged Jodi's studies in psychotherapy and her counseling business, listening to stories about her clients (with all pertinent details hidden, of course).

Todd has ensured the couple never wants for any creature comforts--they live in a beautiful waterfront condo high up on the Chicago skyline, take fun and relaxing vacations, and enjoy fancy dinners and entertainment. And Jodi is the perfect wife--nurturing, supportive, always there with the perfect dinner and their well-behaved dog.

Sure, their marriage isn't perfect. Whose is? Jodi has turned a blind eye through the years to Todd's extramarital dalliances, because at the end of the night, Todd always comes home to her. And while Todd may seek the comfort of other women from time to time (professionals and others), Jodi is his one true constant and he can't imagine actually leaving the life they've made together.
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195 of 222 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was never a fan of 'Gone Girl', and am glad I did not know that this novel, 'The Silent Wife' was being compared to 'Gone Girl'. This is an entirely separate novel, connected only by the season, a summer novel/thriller.

This novel was exquisite, it pulled me in entirely. It is a novel that can be read easily in one or two days. In fact, it is a novel that calls you. A relationship of twenty years, never a marriage, because neither felt it was necessary. Jodi Brett, a psychologist, with several degrees behind her name and Todd Gilbert, a developer, builder, with no degrees behind his name, met by accident. Jodi was moving and her moving truck struck Todd's truck in a blinding Chicago rain. Somehow in-between the yelling and accusations a relationship developed, and within a short time they moved in together. They had a perfect life, thought Jodi. A lovely apartment, expensive furnishings, good food, fast cars and good sex. The only issue was the never discussed liaisons that Todd had with other women. Jodi, ignored them, never addressed them, and lived in a perpetual state of denial.

This denial seemed to be a state for both of them. Each of them had a difficult, abusive childhood. OnlyTodd spoke of his. Jodi kept her issues covered, deep denial, that seems strange for a therapist. They lived an altered life,an altered existence. Todd got what he wanted, whenever he wanted, and, Jodi, got what she wanted, she thought. Jodi dressed in expensive beige pants and white shirt while at home,and this seems to be her existence, beige. Just right, no highs, no lows, until something occurs that brings everything crashing.

Couples who talk above the fray, but never really discussing their feelings. Too afraid to show what is really going on?
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